Dear Hayfield Secondary Families:
This is my favorite time of year as the buzz of spring, the upcoming Prom, Graduation, and middle school team activities energize students and staff alike. Student activities are in full swing. I recently attended the middle school musical, Dear Edwina, and thoroughly enjoyed the student performances.
The two blizzards and time lost from instruction have created challenges to the instructional continuity of classroom instruction and to our upcoming testing season. April 12 is now a “BLUE” school day; previously a teacher workday. The last day of school is now June 25, although it is not clear as of yet, whether that will be a full or partial day. Our Advanced Placement exams will occur as previously announced May 3-14. Middle school SOL exams will also remain unchanged; however, high school SOL course testing will be delayed until a testing window of June 1 – 18. Senior final exams, activities, and the Graduation date will remain unchanged. Underclass exams are being scheduled at this time. More information will be forthcoming.
At the time of this letter’s writing, the budget outlook remains quite murky, even as we begin our planning for next year, 2010-2011. I anticipate more reductions to personnel resources and supply materials, but ever-changing specifics are a planning reality for now. We are projected to remain about the same size in middle school with a slight increase in our high school student population. I recommend that parents periodically review the FCPS website with the latest budget information, http://www.fcps.edu/news/fy2011.htm
Study hint: Knowledge of geography is woven into a variety of course curricula critical to meeting SOL requirements. It is a topic that is fun for some and tedious for others. But one thing is certain, many of the world’s countries seem to be redrawing boundaries and their names do not always remain the same. Geography and understanding of geographic relationships plays a key role in many of our course objectives. Map memorization is tough, but can be made easier when maps are broken into smaller parts e.g., focus on one continent at a time. Suggest that your teen list the countries the same way each time, such as east to west or along a major river. There are several geography games or card sets that can be taken on planes and in cars while traveling. Using blank maps for practice tests is a good self-assessment of learned material.
Best wishes for an enjoyable spring break. Third quarter report cards will be mailed home on Monday, April 19.
William L. Oehrlein, Ph.D.